By [EMAIL="email@example.com?subject=RE:%20Steeler s%20notebook:%20With%20Colon%20out,%20DeCastro%20s et%20to%20start%20story%20on%20TribLIVE.com"]Alan Robinson[/EMAIL]
Published: Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 1:30 p.m.
Updated 5 hours ago
First-round draft pick David DeCastro might be ready to make his first NFL start.
With left guard Willie Colon (knee) out for at least a couple of weeks following knee surgery Monday, DeCastro will work with the starters. Ramon Foster would shift to left guard, and All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey would stay at his preferred position.
DeCastro has played only on special teams.
“If we like what we see, he may have an opportunity to play,” coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday.
Updated: December 11, 2012, 4:23 PM ET
Left guard [URL="http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/9717/willie-colon"]Willie Colon[/URL] had surgery on his left knee on Monday and could be out for the season. Tomlin said Tuesday that DeCastro will be worked in at right guard during practice this week and could start Sunday when the Steelers (7-6) play at Dallas (7-6).
After quickly earning his way onto the first team, DeCastro sustained a torn MCL during the Steelers' third preseason game and did not return to practice until mid-November. He was in uniform the past two games but only used on special teams.
"We're ready to take the next step," Tomlin said. "Potentially, this week -- depending on how that preparation looks."
Should DeCastro prove ready, [URL="http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/12883/ramon-foster"]Ramon Foster[/URL] would move over to left guard, allowing All-Pro center [URL="http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/13250/maurkice-pouncey"]Maurkice Pouncey[/URL] to stay at his given position.
In past years, an injury such as the one DeCastro sustained Aug. 25 in Buffalo might have meant a lost rookie season. But with modified injured reserve rules implemented this season, DeCastro was placed on an IR list that allowed him to come back after eight weeks. He did not, however, immediately regain the starting job he won early in camp. The Steelers instead chose to ease him into NFL life.
"With a guy like him, it's more than health because he doesn't have a lot of playing background," Tomlin said. "So although he's been healthy, practice has been good for him, the technique growth and development has been good for him, just simply playing professional football has been good for him. So although he's been healthy, we still thought he had room for growth from an overall readiness standpoint."
Tomlin did not guarantee DeCastro would start Sunday but did make reference to Foster's familiarity with left guard and the preference to return Pouncey to his most comfortable position.
---I was reluctant to post this info since it is a bit early. But since many had no idea how really ready to play DeCastro is I did anyway. Of course Wednesday will be a hard workout and if all goes well my guess is we see DeCastro Sunday.